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Bettman Floats $4M Salary Cap Jump; Capitals Could Have $15M To Spend



NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman talks during a news conference before Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The Washington Capitals’ pockets could be a little deeper next offseason.

According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, preliminary revenue projections have the 2024-25 salary cap landing between $87 million and $88 million — a rise of approximately $4 million. Bettman informed team owners of the potential increased cap at Wednesday’s Board of Governors meeting.

The substantial cap jump — a rise of more than 4% — would be welcome around the league after a lack of growth in recent years. Since the 2018-19 season, the cap has increased by a mere $4 million according to CapFriendly, limiting spending league-wide.

That was the primary reason behind a lack of dealing surrounding June’s NHL Draft, with no first-round picks trading hands for the first time since 2007.

“There’s a lot of chatter, but I think there’s a lot of frustration with — seems like a lot of teams have players but no space and money,” MacLellan said after the first round. “It’s not really hockey trades that are being discussed, it’s how-to-create-space trades, so it’s frustrating I think for managers in that way.”

This offseason, the Capitals were handcuffed mightily by the salary cap. After extending restricted free agents like Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev, the team’s big free agent splash was Max Pacioretty, who they signed to a one-year, $2 million deal with $2 million in bonuses.

With the potential cap jump in mind, as well as the Capitals’ impending free agent class, the team would have approximately $15 million to spend under the numbers proposed by Bettman, according to data from CapFriendly. However, an extension for Rasmus Sandin would lower that number, as would any bonuses that Max Pacioretty collects from games played this season.

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.